New York City was a place I had always built up in my mind. It was the backdrop to nearly all the sitcoms of my childhood, the land of Broadway, and a foodie paradise; I knew I had to make it there eventually.
One of my best friends since middle school recently moved to a suburb near the city and invited me to visit, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity – it had been two years since we’d seen each other (which was FAR too long!) and we knew we’d have a blast exploring the city together.
After a night of catching up and relaxing after my flight (which had spent 3 hours on the runway), we were up bright and early and ready to explore. It was a little surreal to walk out of the bus station and right into The New York Times!
We started out by walking around Times Square and I could not have chosen better weather. It was cool and overcast, but not rainy or humid at all – a far cry from the smoldering Kansas heat I had left behind.
We stopped for lunch in Koreatown and I will probably be dreaming of all the wonderful Korean barbecue for the next year now.
Next up was Central Park, where we spent several hours enjoying the beautiful weather. I couldn’t believe how HUGE the park was! I was also surprised at how many newly married couples were walking around nonchalantly getting their pictures taken. The park is pretty enough in summer, but I imagine it’s stunning in the fall.
Our last stop for the day was the 9/11 memorial and Tower One, which was sad and beautiful all at once.
One of the things I was most hoping to do while I was in New York was to see a Broadway show, so I was pretty stoked when we scored some decently priced last-minute tickets to The Book of Mormon. The humor was not for the faint of heart, but it definitely kept me laughing and the venue, set, and costumes were spectacular.
After the show, we decided to try to catch happy hour at a nearby rooftop bar, which offered fabulous views of the skyline. Sipping on watermelon coolers to beat the afternoon heat was just the icing on the cake.
On Day 3, we did a little double decker cruising (touristy, but fun) and went to see the Statue of Liberty.
All too soon it was time to disembark and get ready to pack for my early flight back to Kansas. I could easily have stayed for another week, but I was grateful for the time I had. It’s hard to be so far away from family and friends, and unfortunately, friends can often get pushed aside for the sake of family. I’m so glad I made time for this adventure and hope to make a return trip next summer!